Leyland Trucks turns in 8m pounds: Unexpected strength from resurgent firm

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The Independent Online
LEYLAND Trucks, the Lancashire-based independent company that emerged from the collapse of the Daf group last year, made a pre-tax profit of pounds 8.4m in its first trading period, the 11 months to 30 April, writes Mary Fagan. Turnover was pounds 148.6m, with exports accounting for about a third.

The performance, which outstripped expectations, was helped by the continuing recovery in the British truck market, which has grown 14 per cent this year. The company also made sales outside Europe that were not anticipated in its business plan.

The truck market in some European countries, including France and the Netherlands, is also showing some recovery but sales are flat in southern Europe.

Leyland sells in Europe through the new Daf organisation and expects sales to become stronger as the reborn Daf's subsidiaries come back up to strength.

A spokesman for Leyland also said orders were picking up because stocks of vehicles, which built up during the slump, are run down. Leyland Trucks produced 6,800 vehicles in the 11 months and expects production to increase to 8,000 this financial year. Annual costs have been cut by pounds 10m since 1992 and the company hopes to reduce costs by a further pounds 2m.

John Gilchrist, Leyland Trucks' chief executive, said: 'We can look forward with confidence to the remainder of 1994 and with optimism to the longer-term future. Sales volumes are increasing in all our major markets.

'Our business is now well established and we can maintain our successful start in the future, not least because of the support of our employees and suppliers.'

The company employs 690 people, compared with about 1,100 who worked at the assembly plant at Leyland before the Daf group went into receivership in February 1993.